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Astronomical compendium

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper, gilt and engraved

  • Credit Line:

    Miller Gift

  • Museum number:

    M.167-1938

  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case DR4 []

The compendium includes a sundial for four latitudes, a nocturnal dial with chronomatic tables, a compass, tables giving phases of the moon, and a table of latitudes for London, Amsterdam, Oxford, Paris and other cities. Schissler's workshop was famous. He specialised in sundials and compendia and produced instruments for the great Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe.

Physical description

Astronomical compendium of engraved and gilt copper with three hinged rectangular leaves:

1a). Nocturnal dial with chronometric tables
b). Tables for converting solar into lunar time and for giving phases of the moon according to age
2a). Sundial for four latitudes
b). Table of latitudes for various places (of which a large proportion are English/Scottish)
3a). Sighting compass with pointer.
b). Table of conversion of equal into planetary hours.

The spandrels formed by the dials and other suitable spaces are engraved with strapwork and floral ornament. The edges of the instrument are inscribed CRISTOPHORUS SCHISSLER ME FECIT AVGVSTE VINDELICORVM ANNO DOMINI 1557.

Dark brown leather case, the edges stamped with fleur-de-lys. Fitted with brass hinge and clasp. The needles and glass of the compass are missing.

Signed by Christopher Schissler of Germany (Augsburg), dated 1557

Materials and Techniques

Copper, gilt and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

CRISTOPHORUS SCHISSLER ME FECIT AVGVSTE VINDELICORVM ANNO DOMINI 1557
Christopher Schissler made me in Augsburg in the year 1557

Object history note

The compendium includes a sundial for four latitudes, a nocturnal dial with chronomatic tables, a compass, tables giving phases of the moon, and a table of latitudes for London, Amsterdam, Oxford, Paris and other cities. Schissler's workshop was famous. He specialised in sundials and compendia and produced instruments for the great Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Patterson, Angus, "The Belinda Gentle Metalware Gallery at the V&A", Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Volume 13, June 2005, p. 47, Fig. 9

Materials

Copper; Gold

Techniques

Raised; Hinged; Gilded; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Science

Categories

Accessories; Clocks & Watches; Metalwork; Tools & Equipment; Scientific instruments; Tourism & Travel

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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